Image of Undertow


Image of Undertow

Bear has a knack for creating memorable characters. In this one, it's the ranids -- frog-like aliens with a fascinating culture and physiology who have a unique way of looking at the world. Add in a futuristic human culture that, of course, cannot help but impose itself on what is assumed to be a backward and backwater planet, and you have a fascinating book, particularly for readers who enjoy complex and nuanced tales.

Hired killer Andre Deschênes is looking into a new line of work as a conjure-man, someone who can influence probabilities. The only problem is that with his murderous past, he's having a hard time finding someone willing to train him. The city he calls home, Novo Haven, is a company town where humans and aliens alike are employed in mining a mysterious substance from underneath the water.

When Andre is contracted to kill the partner of conjure-man Jean Gris, he lands in the midst of a revolution, one that's been brewing for years underwater and in back alleyways. (Bantam Spectra, Aug., 332 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs